The festive season is here, and we can’t keep calm!
The holidays bring joy, excitement and not to forget lots of shopping bags to your home. The holiday season is a blast for everyone and especially for businesses and industries that eagerly anticipate the season.
Black Friday, Cyber Monday are just the beginning of the festive season. Thanks to e-commerce and online shopping, people can now buy anything from their couch, office, or while traveling. Because of the present COVID-19 outbreak, an increasing number of individuals are completing their holiday shopping online this year. In light of this, people must become more aware of cyber safety, robust online practices, and site habits. With this in mind, let’s look at some of the important ways to stay safe while shopping online.
1. Shop From The Sites That You Know
Consider only purchasing on websites that you have had previous experience with and that you know. Some online shopping websites are designed to seem legitimate businesses, but they are just interested in obtaining your credit card details. If the bargain appears to be too good to pass up, conduct your homework and read reviews before making your buy.
2. Always Check the Payment Policy
The days and weeks leading up to the holidays are ideal for fraudsters to make illegal charges on stolen credit cards. While you’re busy tapping (both online and in-store), it’s easy to overlook a transaction you didn’t make among a huge array of bills on your account. Or maybe thinking it’s one you don’t recall making. Check your statements frequently, or set up account notifications, and promptly challenge any transactions you did not approve.
3. Always Stick to Private Networks
Public Wi-fi invites all kinds of trouble. It is a hub for attackers to steal your password and details and empty your bank account. When buying online, it is recommended to avoid using free, public Wi-Fi (such as services available at a coffee house. Free wifi connections make it far easier for cybercriminals to intercept and steal sensitive information you might input while making a transaction.
4. Block the Email Scammers
This time of year, phishing emails are pouring at you from all directions. They may easily slip in between several other genuine email advertisements that are clogging your inbox with discounts and special offers. Verify the sender’s identity and email address, and if you have any doubts, delete the mail, do not open any links, and do not click on any files.
5. Be Careful With What You Share
No online retailer should ever require your Social Security number (SSN) to complete a purchase. Moreover, you should receive a confirmation of your order if you completed the transaction. If you are unsure why a certain information is required, contact the customer care line for further information. Remember that while checking out, you just need to fill out the relevant fields.
6. Check Website Encryption
Make careful to double-check the site security of the network from whom you are shopping. We recommend first checking the URL’s left corner to ensure a lock sign and that the URL starts with ‘HTTPS’. These two aspects imply that the site must have an additional layer of protection. So, if you don’t see those two items, clear your shopping basket and try again. On the other hand, scammers may now create these symbols to make the site appear authentic when it is not. As a result, do not rely only on this form of verification.
Other methods of verifying online security include examining the URL (check for domains that impersonate legitimate organizations, numerous dashes or symbols in the web address, and so on) and auditing the web page for inappropriate language and spelling errors.
7. Always Keep Records
Store all of your receipts, purchase orders and tracking information in a secure, well-organized location. These may be useful if you have difficulty with a transaction, never get your product in the mail, or are charged twice for a product.
It will also come in handy if you are scammed and need to file charges against the site. Keeping the records and receipts also enables you to watch out for any illegitimate websites and stay safe in the future.
8. Know Your Ads
While these advertisements appear to be legal, many of the advertisements you encounter on social networking platforms and other websites are fraudulent. Therefore, if you encounter an ad that piques your curiosity, we recommend visiting the genuine website or browsing for it on the internet instead of relying on the promoted link.
Many attractive ads that you see on social media sites are created to lure you in for money. While it may seem similar to the sites you often shop from, you should always verify it on your browser.
9. Use The Retailer Apps
Using just approved merchant applications will help you avoid dubious shopping apps packed with dangerous software or malware. These applications are used by criminals to infect cellphones in order to install malware or conduct fraud. So protect yourself by only downloading merchant apps from trustworthy shops like Galaxy Apps, the App Store, Amazon App Store, and Google Play.
10. Create a Strong Password
Creating a strong password is crisis prevention 101. A strong password makes it difficult for hackers and criminals to hack into your account and steal your details. A password does not just protect you from cybercrime but also keeps all your personal information safe.
Above all, to be healthy and affluent, you must be intelligent. Try to be as cautious with your money and valuables at the mall as you would in a busy establishment. Keep your internet information safe while buying online for the holidays. Installing and keeping mobile anti-virus apps updated is the most effective strategy to secure your gadget and information.
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